Student Newsletters

Current Student Newsletter

September 2022

It’s been a great year for CUCrC, with the post-COVID return of team racing and student windsurfing events, as well as significant team racing successes at BUSA Finals and Women’s Nationals. After the hard work of training and racing in Michaelmas and Lent, a sunny Easter term brought plenty of fun with the return of the Wilson Trophy and Sailing & Windsurfing Cuppers, as well as a well-received RYA beginner’s course. Rounding out the year, the Varsity Match was held at Royal Harwich Yacht Club in Ajaxes – the first time it has taken place in keelboats since 2019. Although the Women’s and Match Racing Matches saw dark blue victories, Cambridge triumphed in the Open Match, making this the tenth Open Varsity victory in a row.

Team Racing

 Easter term started with BUSA. We sent three teams to the first official championships since 2019, and enjoyed three full days of racing at Chew Valley Lake SC – organised by Bristol.  Having only qualified last minute, team Orange finished 25th, the best BUCS result for a CUCrC 3rd team since 2017! Pink (2nds) recovered from a difficult first day but narrowly missed out on the quarter finals. Blue finished the Swiss League in 4th, but after a series of abandoned races due to major wind shifts lost their quarter final.

BUSA marked the end of regular training for the team before exams. However, we sent two teams to the Wilson Trophy at West Kirby Sailing Club. Three days of exciting racing and the infamous dinner later, Blue finished 27th overall and 5th British University team.

Events for the year were wrapped up by the Varsity Match at Royal Harwich Yacht Club in July. Oxford retained the women’s title after a series of close races, but we successfully won the mixed match in a back and forth series. After we took a 3-1 lead on day 1, Oxford forced a decider by winning the next two races, but after a rollercoaster of a race with multiple lead changes we pulled through to retain the trophy for the 10th year in a row. A successful end to a year of variable results, and it was great to have a ‘proper’ Varsity match after two years of COVID affected matches. After a lot of team members had graduated at the end of last year, most of the team are staying on this year, and hopefully this continuity will allow the team to build on the progress this year under the leadership of our new captain, Olly! 

Cuppers 

Team racing and windsurfing cuppers returned in style to Grafham on Tuesday 21 June 2022. Although wind was in short supply, general fun and the lunchtime BBQ were as good as ever. Congratulations to Paul McMeekin, Ollie Dennis, and their team for organising a great event. And many thanks to Grafham Water SC for suffering the annual invasion once again and providing the necessary facilities.

In the team racing Caius proved victorious, taking the Yule Oldham Cup. A Caius / St Catharines team headed the Silver League and a Jesus team won the Bronze League.

In the windsurfing event Fitzwilliam headed the fleet to take the Brindley Cup, with St Johns winning the Silver League.

Casual Dinghy Sailing 

The Dinghy section made good use of the easter term sunshine, running a casual outing early in the term and then a very successful RYA Level 1 course after the end of most exams. All who completed the Level 1 passed, and handled a variety of wind conditions, from complete drifting conditions to some champagne sailing. We look forward to running more courses in Michaelmas, and can’t wait for another exciting year of casual outings and courses, getting as many people on the water as possible.

Details of all the above events are on this website.

Best wishes
Karl Aeberli
Senior Secretary CUCrC

Student Newsletter Archive

March 2022

It’s been another busy term for the Club, with team racing successes, dinghy outings, and lots of windsurfing trips – plus another successful edition of the Cam Cup! We are especially proud of our Women’s team racing team, who battled through Storm Eunice to claim their second BUSA Women’s title in a row. The Mixed teams also performed well at the BUSA Finals with Cambridge Blue finishing 7th overall.

Elsewhere in the Club, plans for the Windsurfing Varsity are shaping up nicely, and sunnier weather should give lots of chances for casual trips next term. There’s a lot to look forward to over the next few months: the Wilson Trophy, sailing and windsurfing Cuppers, and our various Varsity matches – plus, of course, the promise of warm summer weather!

Team Racing

Last term was another busy one for the team. All three teams competed in lots of events, and despite some disruption due to team members having to isolate with COVID, all three teams qualified for BUSA finals. In March we hosted the Cam Cup. The event was a huge success, with two fantastic days of racing and a black tie dinner on the Saturday night. Overall, a successful and enjoyable return to lent term sailing for the team after lockdowns last year.

Windsurfing and Kiteboarding

Lent term continued to contain excitement on the windsurfing and kitesurfing side, with trips to Hunstanton and Brancaster, as well as regular trips for beginner and intermediate windsurfers at Grafham. We sent three athletes to the SWA Southhampton event, and even had fun at a few bar crawl socials. Although we are saddened that between the Oxford team and us, we couldn’t make up the numbers for a Fuertaventura trip, we are hoping the summer months put us back on the water as we look forward to Varsity, cuppers, and new kit.

Casual Sailing

Despite the ever-present interruptions from covid and hurricane-force winds, the dinghy section managed to find some breaks in the weather for its trips earlier in the term, where despite the cold we managed to get out and enjoy some sunshine in our fireflies. Looking ahead to next term, we’re hoping for even more champagne-sailing and are excited about several planned outings and even a May Week level one course.

Keen to start up the casual section for the first time since the pandemic began, the term opened with four successful taster sessions in a variety of conditions ranging from drifting to champagne sailing, where 45 people tried sailing, almost all for the first time. In spite of many windy weekends, two other casual outings were arranged later in term, getting as many people as possible out on the water.

Details of all the above events are on this website.

Best wishes
Karl Aeberli
Senior Secretary CUCrC


December 2021

It’s been great to see CUCrC’s activities mostly back to normal this year, with a new intake of freshers on the team and a full set of successful taster sessions running at Grafham during Freshers’ Week. The team racers have been to a number of events this term, including the rescheduled 2021 Varsity match, at which the Mixed team triumphed.

The Windsurfing side are also back and better than ever, with multiple beginner sessions, casual trips, and a number of members attending Aussie Kiss (one of the biggest student windsurfing events of the year!). We look forward to a Lent term full of sailing & windsurfing events, beginner courses, and more great weather at Grafham.

Team Racing

This term began with the Varsity Match: held at Farmoor in Fireflies in early October. While we narrowly lost the women’s match 4-2 the team won the mixed match 4-3. This year the event was run alongside the O&CSS Intergenerational event, which was a great chance to meet some previous members of the team.

The new season began with trials, from which 4 teams were selected. This year the 4th team is working a bit differently, it is a larger squad of sailors who rotate depending on availability, providing a route into the team for people who can’t commit to every weekend or who are new to team racing.

The top 3 teams all competed at a number of events including UKTRA, the Leeds Halloween Howler, and the Bristol Brew. The best result of the term was the Birmingham Boom, where team Purple and Orange braved the snow to finish 1st and 3rd respectively.

All in all a successful term for the team racing section of the club. Lent brings lots of events for all the teams, and hopefully we can carry forward the progress from this term to them!

Windsurfing and Kiteboarding

The Windsurfing and new Kiteboarding section of the club started off the year strong, sending over 30 surfers to the SWA Windsurfing festival, Aussie Kiss. Every single attendee came away with new skills, whether it was their first water start, gybe, or rig flip.

Throughout the term we were on the water at Grafham almost every week, running a series of completely packed beginner sessions at weekends, where club members with their instructor qualifications taught newbies how to wobble about on a windsurfer, and sending more experienced surfers down to the lake whenever the wind picked up. Meanwhile, our experienced kiters visited Hunstanton on several occasions to test their skills against the swell and the sky.

Casual Sailing

Keen to start up the casual section for the first time since the pandemic began, the term opened with four successful taster sessions in a variety of conditions ranging from drifting to champagne sailing, where 45 people tried sailing, almost all for the first time. In spite of many windy weekends, two other casual outings were arranged later in term, getting as many people as possible out on the water.

Details of all the above events are on this website.

Best wishes
Karl Aeberli
Senior Secretary CUCrC


August 2021

After many months, sailing finally took the first steps to a (new?) normality. Our team racers resumed training at Grafham which resulted in an excellent BUSA performance! It is hoped that, with the easing of restrictions, the upcoming Freshers Fair will lead to a significant number of new members.

Team Racing

The team racers have had an unconventional season with training and most events being cancelled due to Covid. However, with the easing of restrictions, the summer term saw a long-awaited return to Grafham with weekly trips being run. This training was tested during both the Women’s BUSA Finals at Rutland and the Mixed BUSA Finals at Spinnaker. The Women’s team was triumphant, finishing top university and capturing the BUSA crown for the first time since 2013.
The Mixed BUSA Finals also saw four Cambridge teams take to the water. After three beautiful days of racing, the teams finished 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th – a testament to both the depth and resolve of the squad. Both the training untaken and results achieved leave the squad in an awesome position going into the 2021/22 season.
The varsity match was unfortunately postponed at the last minute due to Covid fears. It is hoped that this will now take place in early Autumn.

Cuppers

After two blank years (calms in 2019 and COVID-19 in 2020) a very successful 2021 Cuppers event for both sailors and windsurfers was run at Grafham on 22 June. Trinity triumphed in windsurfing, with Fitzwilliam taking the Silver Fleet trophy. A joint Caius-Hughes Hall team were victorious in the team racing, with a joint Clare-Trinity team taking the Silver Fleet trophy.

Best wishes
Karl Aeberli
Senior Secretary CUCrC 


December 2020

A Mixed Term

The pandemic has resulted in the suspension of any sailing activities which could not conform to the COVID-19 regulations. This meant that the taster weekend and casual sailing activities – with the exception of windsurfing – were not possible. At present there is little chance of improvement until – hopefully – the Easter term. So let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Team Racing

The much-postponed Varsity Match was held at Farmoor in September. Cambridge won the Open Event 8-3 and Oxford the Women’s Event 4-1. It made for good racing with excellent conditions – albeit a bit different to the regular match. Despite COVID-19, the team racers have made a successful start to the season.

Trials were held over the first two weekends of term, and 14 new members joined the squad. We were able to undertake a few weekends of training before the November lockdown, where four very promising teams appear to be developing!

Surfing

Although unable to run organised activities, many individuals from the windsurfing section have made great use of our inherently socially-distanced sport, with numerous successful trips to Grafham and occasionally to the sea at Hunstanton. The atmosphere is relaxed and all skill levels are welcome.

Match Racing & Other Events

In October last year’s captain Robbie King and his mainly Cambridge crew took the bronze medal in a tough UK Match Racing Final. This followed Robbie’s victory at the 2020 Youth Match Racing Final in September.

Details of all the events mentioned are to be found on this website.

Best wishes,
Karl Aeberli
Senior Secretary CUCrC